Where to Eat: Kona & Hilo

Foodie, Hawaii, The Big Island, Travel, United States

Breakfast

Kona

  • Bongo Ben’s – Sit watching the waves crash in this open-air restaurant. The breakfast was amazing – you seriously can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but definitely check out their cinnamon roll!
  • Evolution Cafe & Bakery – Dubbed the healthiest restaurant in Kona, this vegan, plant based cafe & bakery has a number of delicious treats, plus gluten-free options!

Hilo

  • Hawaiian Style Cafe – For a tasty meal of Hawaiian portions, hit up the Hawaiian Style Cafe. Get the haupia (coconut creme)!
  • Ken’s Pancake House – Another classic Hawaiian spot, this diner feels a bit like Denny’s. The pancakes with marionberry syrup were amazing!
  • Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack – If you’re looking for a spot to get a ‘gram, Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack has the location and the pretty food to make your follower’s jealous. The hardest part will be deciding what to get! We went for lunch but it would be just as good for breakfast.

Lunch

Kona

  • Pine Tree Cafe – A fun local spot with tons of options for a quick bite when heading to nearby Kua Beach.

Hilo

  • Tuk Tuk Thai Food Truck – If you need a quick and delicious lunch near Volcanoes National Park, Tuk Tuk Thai food truck is the place to go! We got the pad Thai and pineapple curry with chicken, both of which were amazing. Easily one of our favorite eats out of the whole trip!
  • Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack – As the name states, this place is kind of magical.  Beyond juices, smoothies, and acai bowls, there’s also delicious sandwiches available!  We shared the Gorilla acai bowl and pulled pork sandwich.
  • Farmer’s Market – Head to the market on Wednesday and Saturday when there are over 200 vendors. Grab fresh fruit, baked goods, and more for a quick lunch!
  • Wiki Fresh – Reminiscent of Chipotle, Wiki Fresh is a quick and easy option for salads and burritos.

Dinner

Kona

  • Island Ono Loa Grill – To be honest, we were as skeptical as we were intrigued by the sign out front claiming Island Ono Loa Grill as the 8th best burger on Yelp. Our curiosity got the best of us and we were not disappointed! They had the most amazing onion rings and unique burgers!

Hilo

  • Pineapples – For a nicer dinner out, we stopped in at Pineapples, an open-air restaurant with live music, drinks in pineapples, and of course tasty eats!  We recommend you book a reservation ahead if you can.
  • Lucy’s Taqueria – A delicious spot filled mostly with locals and delicious Mexican food!

Coffee & Sweet Treats

Kona

  • Kona Haven Coffee – A good place to stop in and get your morning cup of coffee, right after breakfast nearby at Bongo Ben’s.
  • Ka Lae Coffee – If you need a pick me up on your way to or from the green sand beach, be sure to watch for Ka Lae’s signs on the road there.  They serve good coffee as well as many other snacks and treats, and even have an onsite garden nursery to peruse as well.
  • Daylight Mind Coffee Company – This place has perhaps the best ocean view seating of all the coffee shops in Kona.
  • Mrs. Barry’s Kona Cookies – If you’re a fan of cookies, especially perfectly crispy and crunchy cookies, this is a must-stop. So delicious!!

Hilo

  • Mauna Loa – Drive down the macadamia tree lined drive to the Mauna Loa factory to get your fill of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and take a self-guided tour of the macadamia nut factory to learn more about the process of making these tasty treats!
  • Sugar Coast Candy – An old school candy store, essentially the Muggle version of Honeydukes. Get anything and everything your heart desires!
  • Da Hawaiian Brain Freeze – What is Hawaii without shave ice?! This family owned and operated shave ice and ice cream shop will hit the right spot after a day exploring the Hilo side of the island.